Cryptid: Reimagined

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on April 16th, 2014

Eric Penz’s cryptofiction novel has been mentioned on Cryptomundo in the past, making Loren’s The Top Cryptofiction Books of 2005.

This was the original hard copy edition.


The line between history and legend can be deceptively thin—too thin, perhaps, to maintain the claim that one is exclusively fact and one fiction. Such may be the case with the history of Lewis and Clark—for the fact is that two hundred years after they were handpicked by Thomas Jefferson to lead an extraordinary expedition to the Pacific coast, legends still persist regarding unexplained gaps in the explorers’ field journals.

Call it legend, call it history, Cryptid tells the riveting story of conspiracy theorists who have new evidence of a centuries-old cover-up. When a cryptozoologist, a paleontologist, and a Jefferson descendant begin connecting the dots, they threaten to do more than unveil the well-guarded scientific discovery that lies at the heart of the ancient secret; they threaten to rewrite American history. That is, if they can survive a conspiracy that dates back to the Founding Fathers—the very same one that haunted Lewis to his grave. It may be that one of our nation’s first secrets is still being kept.

Cryptid illustrates how the act of seeking the truth can be the very element that destroys it. Two centuries in the making, Cryptid is the final chapter of the Lewis and Clark story. And, as with any good tale, the best secrets have been kept until the end.

Scientists race to discover the truth behind Gigantopithecus, aka Bigfoot, before a mysterious group eliminates all traces of its existence. Paleontologist Samantha Russell has spent most of her life searching for remains of a giant ape about which very little is known, due in large part to a paucity of fossils. After another disappointing dig, she receives a package containing a bone. The plot and writing provide genuine thrills… All of the ingredients of a taut thriller are here…

Eris Penz has now released the author’s edition of Cryptid:


If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m sure your father subscribed to this advice much like my own. This sage advice could perhaps apply to me releasing an Author’s Edition of my debut novel, Cryptid. The book was well received by both reader and critic. Sales were and still are admirable for a first novel. So then why bother with a new edition?

Good question. And I’m not sure I have an equally good answer. All I can say is that in the years since Cryptid was published I’ve lived with a nagging concern. The book as originally published was just not quite me. Like a picture hanging on the wall askew enough to place a sliver in your mind until you leveled it that fraction of a degree, I’ve had a sliver for Cryptid. And with the new brave world of ebook publishing, putting out a new edition is now feasible. So why a new edition? In short, because I now can. It’s time to pluck the sliver free.

More specifically, the story was simply not complete. As the subtitle implies, this story involves Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. The story begins with their amazing adventure. And yet, these two American heroes do not appear on screen. It’s time to fix that. I’ve included with this edition a new first chapter that was not included in the previous edition. This chapter stars both Lewis and Clark, though perhaps not quite as history might envision them.

And so, I proudly present to you the Author’s Edition of Cryptid: The Lost Legacy of Lewis & Clark. Like many Director’s Cut versions of movies, this edition is the story as I believe it to be best told. It is now more me. That is not to say it is perfect. Quite the contrary. It is still a first novel, complete with all the quirks and imperfections that accompany an author’s early work. I wouldn’t change those for anything. That would be like removing a birth mark from your first born son. There are changes I could make, but I will save those for the film version.

Without further ado, I present to you my first born son as I envisioned him to be. Enjoy the hunt.


About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

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